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IRS Watchdog Asks Public to Report Virus Stimulus Payment Scams

April 7, 2020, 8:34 PM

The IRS’s watchdog wants people to report scammers who impersonate agency employees to get their hands on Covid-19 stimulus payments, so that the perpetrators can be identified and stopped.

Individuals shouldn’t respond to letters, calls, or emails from people claiming to be with the IRS and offering stimulus payments in exchange for personal financial information, an advance fee, or a charge of any kind, including the purchase of gift cards, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration said Tuesday in a news release.

  • “Previous government assistance efforts have been used by crooks and scammers who see this as an opportunity to defraud taxpayers in every way possible,” J. Russell George said.
  • The IRS has also warned people to be on high alert for fraudsters.
  • TIGTA’s news release comes a day after Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) sent a letter to the watchdog office asking it to make “every reasonable effort” to raise awareness of potential fraudsters operating during the pandemic.

To contact the reporter on this story: Allyson Versprille in Washington at aversprille@bloombergtax.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Patrick Ambrosio at pambrosio@bloombergtax.com; Kathy Larsen at klarsen@bloombergtax.com

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